A Home Inspector is someone who is trained and certified to conduct a limited, non-invasive inspection of a home, generally with regards to its sale.
Typically, home buyers hire home inspectors. But if you are selling your home, you can also consider hiring one so as to be well prepared before the actual sale happens.
Here are 11 most important questions you should ask your home inspector irrespective of whether you’re a home buyer or seller. Get these questions answered upfront to avoid any confusions and complications at the time of your actual home deal!
#1: What qualifications do you hold?
The qualifications and experience of two home inspectors is rarely the same. Therefore, it is vital to ask this question. Enquire about their credentials, the license(s) they hold; also, ask if they are insured and bonded.
#2: What all do you inspect?
Most home inspectors won’t inspect everything in the house. Some might inspect the roof, for instance, and others might not. So, it is better to know beforehand what all your home inspector is going to inspect.
#3: Should I hire other home inspectors as well?
Based on the home inspector’s answer to the previous question, you need enquire whether you should hire any additional inspectors for things your home inspector might not be examining. Ask specifically for common items like termites, mold, septic systems, and so on.
While there are no iron-clad guarantees, some inspectors do offer 90-day warrantees on items inspected by them. They have coverage via an insurance company and are able to provide some assurance to the buyer.
#5: How long would an inspection take?
It all depends on how big the house is and what all things are going to be inspected. It also depends on how many inspectors are going to inspect the property. While it is advisable to for the home owner to be there during the process, it is not necessary, and you can join the party towards the end.
#6: Would further inspection be required for any items?
Most inspectors have complete knowledge of the items they inspect but, in some cases, a specialist needs to be called in. Enquire beforehand if there is any such requirement for your property.
#7: What would be the total cost?
It is vital to ask this in advance so that there are no surprises at the end. Many times, the cost may also depend on the inspector’s qualifications. Make sure you hire an inspector by his qualifications; you might have to shed a little more dollars, but it will be worth it at the end.
#8: Should any immediate replacements be made?
This is a very important question, especially if you are the home buyer. Ask your home inspector if there are any items that need immediate replacement. A good home inspector will be able to aptly identify such items and provide you with a list.
#9: Should any items be replaced in the near future?
A good home inspector will also be able to tell which items may need replacement in the near future on the basis of their condition and age. He might not be able to forecast what may break in your house, but he certainly be able to spot indications.
#10: What may be the estimated cost of replacement?
While a home inspector might be unable to provide you an exact cost of replacement and repairs, he might pretty well be able to draw a fair estimate. This will be helpful in the future for both, home owners as well as buyers.
#11: Will you walk me through the inspection report?
Although most inspectors would provide a detailed inspection report to you, it is always a better idea to go over the report with the inspector and get any doubts cleared then and there. Ask if they will stay back after the inspection and go over the report with you.
Not all home inspectors are the same. So, make sure you do your homework properly before hiring one.